From my nest on the cliff

7.06 am 25th December 2020, looking out from my static caravan window.

Click on any image to see it full screen.

As some of you will know, every other year I escape Christmas and find a hideaway where I can be on a blissful tinsel-free retreat.

This year, I could not go too far from home, but luckily a friend owns a caravan at Sandsfoot Castle, overlooking Portland Harbour, just 10 miles from where I live and she was kind enough to let me have it to myself.

I have not been away from my house overnight for about a year, so it felt very exciting to pack a suitcase and stuff the car full of craft supplies and head off to the sea.

8.00am Β 30 December

watching the sun come up each morning was the biggest thrill.

Each day a constantly evolving Rothko painting would gently, gradually, change with the light across the sea and sky

Lots of people seem to find it too odd to comprehend that I enjoy going away on my own to be in some far flung place in isolation – but I LOVE it. My very own silent retreat, away from village life and all the practical ‘to do’ lists of home and garden.

I often get asked “but what do you do?”

Most of what I do fits around Tide Timetables, the weather forecast and the time the sun rises and sets Β – and that is a wonderfully calm and simple way to live for a couple or more weeks every other year.

In 2008 I went to California for six weeks,

In 2016 I stayed in a treehouse on the Pembrokeshire Coast from the 15th December to 15th January.

paddle boarders

This year, I was able to walk from my nest, along the Rodwell Trail, that follows the old railway line, from Weymouth to Portland. From there I could tramp up along the top of Chesil Beach

This photo was taken at 1pm on Christmas Day. Whilst so many were tucking into a turkey, I was walking for about a mile along the top of a nearly isolated beach in crisp clear air and glorious sunshine – it felt SO good!

I say nearly isolated as there was one family having a windy picnic lunch looking out to sea and in the carpark, looking out over the harbour, where it was a bit more sheltered, there was a couple in red and white Father Christmas hats sitting at a picnic table covered in decorations and having a lobster and champagne lunch. Fabulous! The camaraderie of doing things differently.

There are plenty of old rusty bits and pieces to enjoy along that stretch

I would love to know the story behind this abandoned boat

The Pheonix

But oh the shed!

Look at those doors – all that texture, the colours! the corrugated rust!


So, dear readers, I am sure you don’t need to ask me, “what do you do?!”


44 responses to “From my nest on the cliff

  1. “There are plenty of old rusty bits and pieces to enjoy along that stretch…” I smiled when I read this…it sounds so much like me here on the East Coast along the beaches of southern NJ, and the Delaware Bay. I love rusty bits and pieces too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We are a special band of like-minded souls!
      I have recently been introduced to the ‘Corrugated Iron Appreciation Society’ on Facebook! (thank you Cathy!) It has 15k members!
      We are not alone! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I was thinking of you while you were away, Sandra, and looking forward to reading about our adventures when you returned. Great photos – and I love the uniqueness of the couple on the windy picnic bench with their lobster and champagne Christmas lunch! 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds fantastic Sandra and the wonderful images support the feel of the retreat. Nothing beats the coast for a connection to the bigger natural world. We are lucky to live by the water and usually escape to dream there most days. To escape we head to the mountains and National parks or the coast down in the wild parts.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a lovely place to recharge your batteries, and drink in the gorgeous views and fresh air!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I would love to have a few days away on my own. I love Mr Snail very much but being together all the time for months and months can be challenging. Your retreat looks wonderful to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. There is only one answer to such a silly question, and that is “beholding”.
    I refer to it as it ‘taking darshan’ or beholding the divine, sublime or that which is worthy of reverence.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes!!!
      Although, my neighbours and aquaintances already see me as a bit weird – so inside that is the sort of thing I’m saying – outside ….. that’s another matter.
      Out in the world (and blogging) I meet like minded souls, but living in this village ….. I fold myself up very small, not to frighten the natives! πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Taking it real easy – knitting going well | random thoughts from a non-warped mind

  8. How absolutely magic – dropped into some your links – also magic.

    I finally got the travel bug back in 2019 within my own country but then with 2020 “advised not to travel, because will be on own, and of course within NZ” and now when I could, I can’t…keep getting new ailments. Hoping new medicines acquired yesterday from GP, work magic and restore me…

    Of course, I’m not living in a terribly noisy suburb of my city Auckland (NZ) other than a lot of multi-unit building on residential sites, lawnmowers, and a little bit of traffic – so unless I seek to be out there, I’m kind of in a retreat at home. But I know going away, you leave behind all the household things that take your attention and you just enjoy being on the road some place…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That beach walk must have been wonderful, and the sunrises are beautiful too. I can imagine how peaceful it was there. πŸ˜ƒ Love that old shed!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What an amazing view of the dawn!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I used to do that when I was working in Silicon Valley. Family thought I was totally nuts, but I didn’t care. Time to decompress – do whatever or nothing – sheer bliss. ❀️ Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. how splendid. Thank you for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I don’t think anybody who knows you – even in a blogging relationship – would ever ask ‘but what do you do?’. You are one of those people who are probably never, or rarely, bored as you will always find something of interest to see or do. I think quite a few of us who read your blog are the same way.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Going Batty in Wales

    I totally understand why you retreated! I stayed at home but and I did put decorations up but I didn’t do any of the ‘jobs’ waiting for me to get round to them. Just walks, reading, crafting, lazing, thinking eating…..

    Liked by 1 person

  15. What a wonderful break, and yes I can understand why you do it as a way to totally recharge batteries. Chesil beach is incredible, and you get quite a work out wallking on it- no pinching the pebbles. I love the way that couple had a different Christmas meal, hope you had good things to eat too.
    We had a traditional Christmas with a family meal etc and then I had a nice walk with my son along an old canal walking into the sunset! Sadly not been able to see him since, just to be on the safe side. 6 weeks in Calafornia sounds wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You do get a good work out walking on pebbles – my legs knew they had done that walk the next day – but it felt so good to have done it.
      So glad you were able to be with family on Christmas Day.
      I had the time of my life in California! It was wild!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. How lucky to find a caravan site still open! What a wonderful way to spend Christmas. Is it really four years since you were down this way?

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is a tiny site with only a dozen units, all privately owned.
      Yes – four years! I miss it SO much!!!
      I was booked to come last March but cancelled – as soon as I have had the vaccine – that is where I’ll be! ❀


  17. I wonder if the boat was part of the decommissioning in the β€˜90’s. A lovely way to spend a few days.

    Liked by 1 person

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